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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines > Xtreme Alternate History

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  #16  
Old 17 Dec 15, 16:10
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A felicitous choice of name.

Nicolai Poliakoff was possibly the most famous and best loved circus entertainer in the United Kingdom during the first half of the twentieth century, and was also, I believe, quite well known in the United States.

Did you deliberately choose to name yourself after him, or was this simply a fortunate, if delightful, coincidence?

His performing name, by the way, was COCO THE CLOWN!!
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  #17  
Old 17 Dec 15, 16:32
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Draco misses the part where his two panzer divisions come out of Luxembourg straight into the heaviest portion of the Maginot line, with the Thionville and Metz fortified region behind it.

This means his meager offensive is facing trying to penetrate some of the heaviest and deepest fortifications in Europe.

Without invading Belgium (who isn't about to give the Germans permission to cross their soil with troops) there is no bypassing the Maginot Line.

Have fun storming the castle...
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  #18  
Old 17 Dec 15, 18:58
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A British two pounder, or a Belgian or French 45-47 mm AT gun or a rapid fire 25 mm Hotchkiss can knock out a Pz I or Pz II at any range. At least the latter's 20 mm gun has a much longer range & destructive power than the 7.92 mm and the Pz II has a crew of 3 to help load the cannon.
A direct hit or even shrapnel from a close impact by a 75 mm or heavier gun or 82 mm mortar can also knock out the Pz I. Moreover, The 13 mm armor was on the front only, from the back, at 60 m a rifle or MG round or the shrapnel form a hand grenade a few meters behind the tank could probably pierce the armor.

Do you think the person operating 2 MGs can feed them properly while he fires & keeps track of the enemy 360° & leads the driver into combat?
I'd much rather have two people operating a single heavy MG in the field with a deflector shield than a lone guy operating 2 light MG 13 & leading a moving tank against static AT guns which can knock it out beyond a mile away.

Years ago I read an interesting account about a Moroccan 25 mm AT position which destroyed 7 tanks in Gembloux (including Pz III) before a Storch flew over it and dropped a canister of violet smoke to mark it & it was promptly destroyed by German mortar shells. Apparently the flash suppressor worked very well, so the gun had to be spotted from the air. France could have easily produced 25,000 Hotchkiss, but had a few thousand & poorly deployed. As always, the French produced few & used poorly an excellent gun & the Germans knocked it out with a cheap & vulnerable plane & mortar.

The WM realized even in Spain (2 years before Gembloux & against much weaker forces) that it was too vulnerable & not destructive enough & had a second harrowing experience the previous year in Poland where anything from AT rifles to mortar shells damaged them.
It is absurd to waste excellent tank crews in them in Belgium & France, without the possibility of inflicting major damage with them in the spearhead of a critical armored column.

The Germans were very lucky that the French, Belgians or Brits didn't have anything like the Soviet 13 mm or the American .50 caliber MGs, which could easily pierce the 13mm armor & that the French wasted billions building the Maginot & Fancy warships, but very little making 25 mm Hotchkiss, buying 20 mm Hispano-Suiza, Oerlikon or 37 mm Bofors cannon or planes.

The Belgians & the Swiss are not retards, they would never allow their countries to be wiped out to slow down a few days the fall of France. Hitler loved to use power & was diplomatically challenged. Had Bismarck had 5,000 planes & 3 million men to back up threats, he would have easily gotten access & turned France against Britain.
In any event even if Belgium declines, as I mentioned already, Germany needs only to invade the tiny Ardennes to wipe out France, it certainly does not need to attack Holland & the fortified are of Belgium.

Last edited by Dracoco; 17 Dec 15 at 19:13..
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  #19  
Old 17 Dec 15, 19:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post
The Germans were very lucky that the French, Belgians or Brits didn't have anything like the Soviet 13 mm or the American .50 caliber MGs, which could easily pierce the 13mm armor & that the French wasted billions building the Maginot & Fancy warships, but very little making 25 mm Hotchkiss, buying 20 mm Hispano-Suiza, Oerlikon or 37 mm Bofors cannon or planes.
You mean like the Hotchkiss 13.2mm M1929...?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotchk...29_machine_gun

Or, the British ZB 60 BESA 15mm...?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Besa_machine_gun

Quote:
The Belgians & the Swiss are not retards, they would never allow their countries to be wiped out to slow down a few days the fall of France. Hitler loved to use power & was diplomatically challenged. Had Bismarck had 5,000 planes & 3 million men to back up threats, he would have easily gotten access & turned France against Britain.
In any event even if Belgium declines, as I mentioned already, Germany needs only to invade the tiny Ardennes to wipe out France, it certainly does not need to attack Holland & the fortified are of Belgium.
No, they weren't. And neither would have let Germany simply march in and occupy them without fighting.

As for your plan, you still haven't said how your smaller forces will break through the most heavily defended section of France's border, the region adjoining Luxembourg, where the French have nearly 200 various sized artillery pieces in heavy fortifications backed by hundreds more pieces of field artillery.
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  #20  
Old 17 Dec 15, 20:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Draco misses the part where his two panzer divisions come out of Luxembourg straight into the heaviest portion of the Maginot line, with the Thionville and Metz fortified region behind it.

This means his meager offensive is facing trying to penetrate some of the heaviest and deepest fortifications in Europe.

Without invading Belgium (who isn't about to give the Germans permission to cross their soil with troops) there is no bypassing the Maginot Line.

Have fun storming the castle...
You seem to be quite geographically challenged. As when You insisted that Eben Emael was essential to capture the Ardennes & France, Metz is just as far away from Sedan. OTL Guderian with his long column of vulnerable Pz I & II & Czech tanks made it quite well to Reims (bypassed it & headed for Abbeville), certainly bypassing the Maginot without problems.
In the last version there are 3 strong divisions comming out of the Ardennes Guderian's heading for Reims & Paris, Kluge's heading for Dunkirk & Höppner's heading SE for the Verdun RR & following it to Paris. Their strength comes from better tanks & even better LW sipport for only 3 Pz columns & the infantry column attacking the flank of the Maginot from the rear.

The Belgians are far more likely to allow access if presented with the facts and options than to allow all their cities to burn, just like the Dutch did after just one city burnt.
Again, Bismarck would have had no problem using diplomacy to persuade Belgium & Switzerland with such awesome air power & army behind him. In his ignorance & incompetence Hitler wanted battles, rather than diplomacy. Those glorious battles before Barbarossa cost him the war.

Yes, like those MG & the flamethrowers & Churchill's bombasts & the damnbusters and many other weapons that were totally absent in Gembloux, Montherme, Dinant, Sedan & Hannut.

Last edited by Dracoco; 17 Dec 15 at 21:09..
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  #21  
Old 17 Dec 15, 21:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post
You seem to be quite geographically challenged. As when You insisted that Eben Emael was essential to capture the Ardennes & France, Metz is just as far away from Sedan. OTL Guderian with his long column of vulnerable Pz I & II & Czech tanks made it quite well to Reims (bypassed it & headed for Abbeville), certainly bypassing the Maginot without problems.
You're the one geographically challenged. I stated that Eben Emael's defeat was necessary to bypass the Liege defenses and the capture of bridges intact over the Albert Canal. That would allow the Germans to move more quickly into Belgium, which is what they did.

As for your plan, look at a map. The Germans historically went through Luxembourg into Belgium in the Ardennes to bypass the Maginot line. Since you have eliminated their doing that they have to invade France through the Metz and Thionville sectors of the Maginot line.
The only way to bypass the line is invade Belgium. That means going to war with them. They aren't going to let the Germans just walk in.

Quote:
In the last version there are 3 strong divisions comming out of the Ardennes Guderian's heading for Reims & Paris, Kluge's heading for Dunkirk & Höppner's heading SE for the Verdun RR & following it to Paris. Their strength comes from better tanks & even better LW sipport for only 3 Pz columns & the infantry column attacking the flank of the Maginot from the rear.
Show us how these units will break the Maginot Line first before going off on your post invasion fantasy. You stated they're coming out of the Ardennes in the south end of Luxembourg and not going into Belgium. How do they tackle the Maginot line?

Quote:
The Belgians are far more likely to allow access if presented with the facts and options than to allow all their cities to burn, just like the Dutch did after just one city burnt.
Again, Bismarck would have had no problem using diplomacy to persuade Belgium & Switzerland with such awesome air power & army behind him. In his ignorance & incompetence Hitler wanted battles, rather than diplomacy. Those glorious battles before Barbarossa cost him the war.
Yea, sure... After Germany forced their way into Czechoslovakia, then took Poland, then invaded Denmark, then Norway... Not to mention the Germans invading them 26 years earlier. There is nothing Hitler could say that would get the Belgians to essentially surrender without a fight and allow, for all intents, a German occupation of their country.
The Dutch surrendered only after the Germans carried out bombing and had already invaded the country. Hitler telling them to just surrender isn't going to fly.
As for Bismarck, he's dead so he is irrelevant to the argument.

That's not to mention you can't possibly make a credible argument to the contrary.
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  #22  
Old 17 Dec 15, 22:10
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Read again, I mentioned Sedan & going through the Ardennes at least ten times. I specified invading Luxemburg before inducing Switzerland & Belgium to grant passage & You even threw in a smartass monkey wrench saying that invading Luxemburg automatically causes Belgium to declare war on Germany. Please mention the document, treaty or agrrement specifyng that.
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  #23  
Old 17 Dec 15, 22:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post
Read again, I mentioned Sedan & going through the Ardennes at least ten times. I specified invading Luxemburg before inducing Switzerland & Belgium to grant passage & You even threw in a smartass monkey wrench saying that invading Luxemburg automatically causes Belgium to declare war on Germany. Please mention the document, treaty or agrrement specifyng that.
To go to Sedan you have to invade Belgium. The Belgians won't let the Germans march in unopposed. You can't prove otherwise.

Switzerland is the same way. They will resist any attempt by Germany to enter their country. Again, you offer nothing that shows anything to the contrary.

I'm willing to let you have an invasion of Luxembourg without invading Belgium, but there's no way in hell the Belgians would have let the Germans enter their country unopposed.
That makes your Sedan plan null and void.

Also, an invasion of just Luxembourg is almost certain to get the Belgians in the war treaty or no. Again, it's up to you to show how it wouldn't.
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  #24  
Old 17 Dec 15, 23:50
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So You don't have any evidence at all to back your absurd statement that invading Luxemburg equals certain Belgian declaration of War.

You miss the whole scenario.
option a) Belgium &/or Switzerland allows passage to avoid destruction: The Maginot has been outflanked, Britain evacuates, France has to admit defeat. Britain has to attack the French fleet, which turns an intact & strong France against Britain, benefitting both France & the axis enormously (France is a much better ally than weak & incompetent Italy or distant & irrational Japan at war with huge China. The axis is a much better ally for France than Poland or Britain).

option b) Belgium & Switzerland refuse passage choosing certain destruction: Germany is already in Luxemburg & can invade the Ardennes saving the morning it took to advance through Luxemburg removing road blocks, building ramps over steel gates, etc, Guserian arrives in Sedan with plenty of daylight for planes to blast the allies across the Meuse, so Guderian can start bridging the Meuse without being shelled & the allies have no time to reinforce the area. Kluge & Höppner also cross in teh same area, so the Luftwaffe does not have to clear several areas, as OTL in Dinant & Montherme.

Last edited by Dracoco; 18 Dec 15 at 00:10..
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Old 18 Dec 15, 00:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post
So You don't have any evidence at all to back your absurd statement that invading Luxemburg equals certain Belgian declaration of War.
Actually, I do have evidence. In WW 1 what you proposed was tried by the Germans. Here's Belgium's response.

Quote:
I answered immediately: "Belgium would have lost her honour if she had listened to you, and no nation, any more than an individual, can live without honour. Europe will be our judge. And besides," I added, "you will not take Liege as easily as you think, and you will have to meet England, the faithful guarantor of our neutrality."
http://firstworldwar.com/source/belg...nultimatum.htm

The Belgians would have fully mobilized on an invasion of Luxembourg and been fully prepared for war. They would have turned down the Germans in an instant.

It is you that offers no proof that Belgium could have been negotiated into allowing what would amount to a German occupation of that nation.

Quote:
You miss the whole scenario.
option a) Belgium &/or Switzerland allows passage to avoid destruction: The Maginot has been outflanked, Britain evacuates, France has to admit defeat. Britain has to attack the French fleet, which turns an intact & strong France against Britain, benefitting both France & the axis enormously (France is a much better ally than weak & incompetent Italy or distant & irrational Japan at war with huge China. The axis is a much better ally for France than Poland or Britain).
It is you that misses the point. Neither Belgium nor Switzerland would have accepted a German demand for passage. You can't show how either could be made to. I have demonstrated how they historically wouldn't.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...Switzerland%29

Quote:
option b) Belgium & Switzerland refuse passage choosing certain destruction: Germany is already in Luxemburg & can invade the Ardennes saving the morning it took to advance through Luxemburg removing road blocks, building ramps over steel gates, etc, Guserian arrives in Sedan with plenty of daylight for planes to blast the allies across the Meuse, so Guderian can start bridging the Meuse without being shelled & the allies have no time to reinforce the area. Kluge & Höppner also cross in teh same area, so the Luftwaffe does not have to clear several areas, as OTL in Dinant & Montherme.
More like Germany occupies Luxembourg. Belgium mobilizes fully on a war footing and agrees to allow Britain and France to move forward to support them as they had done up to 1939.
The Germans now face a prepared Allied defense well into Belgium. The delay you proposed initially to use the Luftwaffe only to take on the Allied air forces gives ground units even more time to ready themselves for the German attack.

Basically, you throw away any surprise in favor of frontally assaulting a now prepared and fully alert Allied defense.
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  #26  
Old 18 Dec 15, 03:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post
A British two pounder, or a Belgian or French 45-47 mm AT gun or a rapid fire 25 mm Hotchkiss can knock out a Pz I or Pz II at any range. At least the latter's 20 mm gun has a much longer range & destructive power than the 7.92 mm and the Pz II has a crew of 3 to help load the cannon.
A direct hit or even shrapnel from a close impact by a 75 mm or heavier gun or 82 mm mortar can also knock out the Pz I. Moreover, The 13 mm armor was on the front only, from the back, at 60 m a rifle or MG round or the shrapnel form a hand grenade a few meters behind the tank could probably pierce the armor.

Do you think the person operating 2 MGs can feed them properly while he fires & keeps track of the enemy 360° & leads the driver into combat?
I'd much rather have two people operating a single heavy MG in the field with a deflector shield than a lone guy operating 2 light MG 13 & leading a moving tank against static AT guns which can knock it out beyond a mile away.

Years ago I read an interesting account about a Moroccan 25 mm AT position which destroyed 7 tanks in Gembloux (including Pz III) before a Storch flew over it and dropped a canister of violet smoke to mark it & it was promptly destroyed by German mortar shells. Apparently the flash suppressor worked very well, so the gun had to be spotted from the air. France could have easily produced 25,000 Hotchkiss, but had a few thousand & poorly deployed. As always, the French produced few & used poorly an excellent gun & the Germans knocked it out with a cheap & vulnerable plane & mortar.

The WM realized even in Spain (2 years before Gembloux & against much weaker forces) that it was too vulnerable & not destructive enough & had a second harrowing experience the previous year in Poland where anything from AT rifles to mortar shells damaged them.
It is absurd to waste excellent tank crews in them in Belgium & France, without the possibility of inflicting major damage with them in the spearhead of a critical armored column.

The Germans were very lucky that the French, Belgians or Brits didn't have anything like the Soviet 13 mm or the American .50 caliber MGs, which could easily pierce the 13mm armor & that the French wasted billions building the Maginot & Fancy warships, but very little making 25 mm Hotchkiss, buying 20 mm Hispano-Suiza, Oerlikon or 37 mm Bofors cannon or planes.

The Belgians & the Swiss are not retards, they would never allow their countries to be wiped out to slow down a few days the fall of France. Hitler loved to use power & was diplomatically challenged. Had Bismarck had 5,000 planes & 3 million men to back up threats, he would have easily gotten access & turned France against Britain.
In any event even if Belgium declines, as I mentioned already, Germany needs only to invade the tiny Ardennes to wipe out France, it certainly does not need to attack Holland & the fortified are of Belgium.
I quite enjoy these flights of fancy: they are always of interest, but how did Bismarck (presumably Otto von) get into the act ?

He operated long before there was any animosity between Germany and Britain.
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Last edited by BELGRAVE; 18 Dec 15 at 03:52..
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  #27  
Old 18 Dec 15, 05:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post





Rommel went from Dinant all the to Arras & then all the west to Avesnes.
He could have easily gone Dinant-Dunkirk in a few days.

Guderian went from Sedan all the way south to Reims & then to Abbeville, Boulogne, Calais & finally close to Dunkirk, by which time Rundstedt & Hitler had panicked & orderes a halt. He could have easily gone Sedan Dunkirk in a few days.
1) No :he couldn't

2)No :he couldn't

It is obvious that you have NO knowledge of Fall Gelb.

Not invading Belgium would result in a catastrophe for the Germans : the 10 divisions of the PzG Kleist could not force the decision :
64 German divisions advanced north of Luxemburg, only 10 were going through Luxemburg (reserves not included) and it were the 64 divisions that invaded Belgium and Holland that were responsible for victory .

Why were the other 64 divisions not going through Luxemburg? very simple : there was no space in Luxemburg for 64 divisions,besides ,the shortest way to the Channel was through Belgium,north of the Meuse .

The PzG Kleist would be the hammer, AGB and the main part of AGA the anvil .
The failure of the hammer made Dunkirk possible .
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Old 18 Dec 15, 06:02
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Besides : if there was no invasion of Belgium, the BEF and the French would not go to the north,but would wait for Kleist and defeat him .
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Old 18 Dec 15, 06:30
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About Eben Emael :it was essential in the Belgian strategy : it was the key-stone of the Albert canal,it was hoped that it would delay the German invasion long enough so that the Belgian army could withdraw to the Dyle Line were meanwhile the French and the BEF would have arrived .

And the Germans understood its importance,that's why a special ad hoc formation was created to capture Eben Emael .The Germans could not afford a delay .
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Old 18 Dec 15, 07:01
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Manstein had a variant on Sichelschnitt: the double sickle cut plan: one group going from Sedan to the north (Abbeville) and an other group to the south (Belfort ) but this was rejected by people who knew more about it than Draco .
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